Concerns raised over high cancer rate

MSP John Pentland is pictured with Lorraine Dallas from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation
MSP John Pentland is pictured with Lorraine Dallas from the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

An MSP has expressed concern that Lanarkshire has a much higher lung cancer rate than the Scottish average.

Labour’s John Pentland spoke out after a seminar at the Scottish Parliament hosted by Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation and the National Lung Cancer Forum for Nurses.

The Lanarkshire politician said he was very concerned that incidences of lung cancer and mortality rates were higher in Lanarkshire than in Scotland as a whole.

He said: “In Lanarkshire, lung cancer affects several hundred people a year, and for most it is fatal. There are 122.6 cases with a mortality rate of 95.6 per year for every 100,000 of the population.

“This compares to 110 cases and an average mortality rate is 89.8 per 100,000 for Scotland as a whole.

“It’s the most common cancer, with over five thousand cases in Scotland each year, which is a sixth of all cancers. It’s also one of the most deadly with over four thousand deaths, which is more than the next four most deadly cancers combined.

“And Scottish rates are among the highest in the world - around double those in England. We need to take action on lung cancer now, including improving awareness of the signs and symptoms of the disease, earlier diagnosis and ensuring patients can access effective treatments.

“It was good to get the opportunity to speak directly to those involved in diagnosing and caring for patients with lung cancer, as well as patients themselves, and people who have lost a loved one to this terrible disease.”

Lorraine Dallas, director of information and support at Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation said: “Improvements have been made in overall cancer survival, yet lung cancer patient outcomes remain poor, with few patients diagnosed when their disease is at an early stage when curative treatment may be possible.

“Progress is slowly being made, but much more needs to be done .”